Friday, January 26, 2018

Free Movie : St. Paul the Apostle

Paul persecutes Christians before being converted and assuming leadership of the Church and struggle against violent opposition to the teachings of Christ and their own personal conflicts.

Pope Francis “How can you transmit the faith in an atmosphere that is spoilt by gossip, by slander?” Homily at Vatican + Video

Vatican News Release; Pope: transmit the faith with the courage of truth and witness
During his homily at morning Mass in the Casa Santa Marta Pope Francis reflected on the how we announce the Gospel message saying that words are empty if they do not reflect real life.
Report  By Linda Bordoni
At the heart of Pope Francis’ homily on Friday morning in the Casa Santa Marta was a reflection on how to transmit the faith.
Taking his cue from the liturgical reading of the day in which the apostle Paul addresses his disciple Timothy recalling his “sincere faith” that first lived in his grandmother and then in his mother, the Pope highlighted the words that indicate how faith is to be transmitted: “son”, as Paul calls Timothy, “mother,” “grandmother,” and finally "testimony".

The 'folly of preaching' according to Paul 

The Pope said that Paul generated Timothy with the “folly of preaching.” He said that in the reading a mention is also made of “tears” because, he explained, Paul does not sweeten his preaching with half-truths, he does so with courage because the announcement of the Gospel “cannot be lukewarm”.
“Preaching is - allow me the word – ‘a slap’. A slap that moves you and pushes you forward” he said.
Paul himself, Francis said, describes it as ‘the folly of preaching’: “it's folly, because to say that God became man and then he was crucified and then he rose again ...” There is always a pinch of folly in preaching which must not be tempted by mediocrity and half-truths.

The Word without testimony has no strength

The second word Pope Francis chose to highlight is testimony. Faith, he affirmed, is to be transmitted through witness which gives strength to the Word and he commented on how people used to say of the first disciples: “How they love each other.”
He noted that in some parishes today, many tongues can be heard wagging about this person or that… and instead of commenting on ‘how they love each other’ one could be enticed to comment on how people speak badly of each other, on “how they use their tongues like knives to ‘skin’ the other!”
“How can you transmit the faith in an atmosphere that is spoilt by gossip, by slander?” he said.
True testimony, the Pope explained means never speaking badly of the other, it means doing works of charity, visiting the sick, and it means asking oneself why others behave or live as they do.
Pope Francis also emphasized the fact that evil acts as “counter-testimony” or as bad testimony: it takes away faith and weakens people.

The Church gives life like a mother

The other word and concept picked out by Pope Francis is “mother” and “grandmother”. He explained that “faith is transmitted in a womb, the womb of the Church”.
He said that the “Church’s motherhood is prolonged in the maternity of the mother, the woman”.
He recalled a meeting he had with a nun while he was in Albania. She had been imprisoned during the dictatorship, but sometimes the guards would let her take a walk along the river thinking there could be no harm in that.
But the nun was clever, the Pope said, and the women of the nearby villages would bring their children to her when she went out and she would secretly baptize them in the river.
“I ask myself, he said, are mothers and grandmothers like the ones Paul speaks of?” Or do they trust in the fact that the children will learn when they go to catechism?
“It gives me sadness, Francis continued, when I see children who do not know how to make the sign of the Cross” because their mothers and grandmothers have not taught them.
Let us ask the Lord, he concluded, to teach us to be witnesses and preachers and to teach women who are mothers to transmit the faith.

Pope Francis " must be reiterated that human life, from conception to its natural end, has a dignity.." to #CDF at Vatican - FULL TEXT


Clementine Hall
Friday, 26 January 2018

Venerable Brothers in the episcopate and in the priesthood,
Dear brothers and sisters,

I am pleased to meet you at the end of the Plenary Session of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. I thank the Prefect for his introduction with which he has summarized the most important lines of your work in the last two years.

I express my appreciation for your delicate service, which responds to the particular bond of your Dicastery with the ministry of the Successor of Peter, who is called to confirm the brothers in the faith and the Church in unity.

I thank you for your daily commitment to support the Magisterium of the Bishops, in the protection of the right faith and the holiness of the Sacraments, in all the various issues that today require important pastoral discernment, as in the examination of cases relating to graviora delicta and applications for dissolution of the marriage bond in favorem fidei.

All these tasks are even more current in the face of the horizon, ever more fluid and changeable, which characterizes the self-understanding of the man of today and which has a significant influence on his existential and ethical choices. The man of today no longer knows who he is and, therefore, struggles to recognize how to act well.

In this sense, the task of your Congregation in recalling the transcendent vocation of man and the inseparable connection of his reason to truth and good, to which he introduces faith in Jesus Christ, appears decisive. Nothing like the opening of reason to the light that comes from God helps man to know himself and God's plan for the world.

I therefore appreciate the study you have undertaken on some aspects of Christian salvation, in order to reaffirm the meaning of redemption, in reference to today's neo-Pelagian and neo-gnostic tendencies. These tendencies are expressions of an individualism that relies on its own forces to save itself. We, on the other hand, believe that salvation consists in communion with the risen Christ who, thanks to the gift of his Spirit, has introduced us into a new order of relations with the Father and among men. Thus we can unite ourselves to the Father as sons in the Son and become one body in Him who is "the firstborn among many brothers" (Rom 8:29).

How not to mention, then, the studies that you are carrying out about the ethical implications of an adequate anthropology also in the economic-financial field. Only a vision of man as a person, that is to say, as an essentially relational subject and connoted by a peculiar and broad rationality, is able to act in conformity with the objective order of morality. In this regard, the Magisterium of the Church has always clearly stated that "economic activity must be conducted according to the laws and methods proper to the economy, but in the context of the moral order" (Second Vatican Ecumenical Council) , Cost. Past. Gaudium et Spes, 64).

During this Plenary Session, you also studied some sensitive issues regarding the accompaniment of terminally ill patients. In this regard, the process of secularization, by absolutizing the concepts of self-determination and autonomy, has led to the growth of the demand for euthanasia in many countries as an ideological affirmation of man's will to power over life. This has also led to considering the voluntary interruption of human existence as a choice of "civilization". It is clear that where life is valid not for its dignity, but for its efficiency and productivity, all this becomes possible. In this scenario it must be reiterated that human life, from conception to its natural end, has a dignity that makes it intangible.

Pain, suffering, the meaning of life and death are realities that contemporary mentality struggles to face with a look full of hope. And yet, without a trustworthy hope that helps him deal with pain and death, man can not live well and maintain a confident perspective in front of his future. This is one of the services that the Church is called to make to contemporary man.

In this sense, your mission takes on an eminently pastoral face. Authentic pastors are those who do not abandon man to himself, nor leave him in the grip of his disorientation and his errors, but with truth and mercy they bring him back to find his true face in the good. Authentically pastoral is therefore every action aimed at taking by hand the man, when he has lost the sense of his dignity and his destiny, to lead him with confidence to rediscover the loving fatherhood of God, his good destiny and the ways to build a more human world. This is the great task awaiting your Congregation and every other pastoral institution in the Church.

In the certainty of your dedication to this important service, which has always been the main path of the Church, I renew my gratitude and express to you all my closeness, giving you my Apostolic Blessing from my heart.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Friday January 26, 2018 - #Eucharist

Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus, bishops
Lectionary: 520/321

Reading 12 TM 1:1-8

Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God
for the promise of life in Christ Jesus,
to Timothy, my dear child:
grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father
and Christ Jesus our Lord.

I am grateful to God,
whom I worship with a clear conscience as my ancestors did,
as I remember you constantly in my prayers, night and day.
I yearn to see you again, recalling your tears,
so that I may be filled with joy,
as I recall your sincere faith
that first lived in your grandmother Lois
and in your mother Eunice
and that I am confident lives also in you.

For this reason, I remind you to stir into flame
the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands.
For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice
but rather of power and love and self-control.
So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord,
nor of me, a prisoner for his sake;
but bear your share of hardship for the Gospel
with the strength that comes from God.

Ti 1:1-5

Paul, a slave of God and Apostle of Jesus Christ
for the sake of the faith of God's chosen ones
and the recognition of religious truth,
in the hope of eternal life
that God, who does not lie, promised before time began,
who indeed at the proper time revealed his word
in the proclamation with which I was entrusted
by the command of God our savior,
to Titus, my true child in our common faith:
grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our savior.

For this reason I left you in Crete
so that you might set right what remains to be done
and appoint presbyters in every town, as I directed you.

Responsorial PsalmPS 96:1-2A, 2B-3, 7-8A, 10

R. (3) Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name.
R. Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
R. Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Give to the LORD, you families of nations,
give to the LORD glory and praise;
give to the LORD the glory due his name!
R. Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
he governs the peoples with equity.
R. Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.

AlleluiaSEE MT 11:25

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;
you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 4:26-34

Jesus said to the crowds:
“This is how it is with the Kingdom of God;
it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land
and would sleep and rise night and day
and the seed would sprout and grow,
he knows not how.
Of its own accord the land yields fruit,
first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once,
for the harvest has come.”

He said,
“To what shall we compare the Kingdom of God,
or what parable can we use for it?
It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground,
is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.
But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants
and puts forth large branches,
so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”
With many such parables
he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.
Without parables he did not speak to them,
but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.

Pope Francis "Faithful to the teaching of the Church and open to the demands and challenges of culture" to Academy of Theology - FULL TEXT


Hall of the Consistory
Friday, 26 January 2018

Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood,
Dear brothers and sisters,

I am pleased to welcome you and I thank the President for the words he has addressed to me. The celebration of an anniversary is always a moment of joy, of thanksgiving for what happened in the past and, at the same time, a commitment to the future. This also applies to the Pontifical Academia Theologica, which celebrates this year the three centuries of institution, which took place on April 23, 1718 with a brief letter by Pope Clement XI.

Three centuries of life certainly constitute a significant milestone, but they must not be an opportunity either to look at themselves narcissistically, or to look nostalgically at the past. Rather, they represent the stimulus for a renewed awareness of one's own identity and for a re-launch of one's mission in the Church.

The Pontifical Academy of Theology has known, in its history, various changes of structure and organization to meet the ever new challenges posed by the different social and ecclesial contexts in which it has found itself operating. In fact, in the intentions of Cardinal Cosimo de 'Girolami, it arises as a place for theological formation of the clergy at a time when other institutions were deficient and inadequate for this purpose. However, when the change in the historical and cultural situation no longer required this task, the Academy assumed the physiognomy - which it still possesses - of a group of scholars called to investigate and deepen theological themes of particular relevance. At the same time, in the composition of the body of the members, it was outlined the balance between the members operating in Rome and those operating outside it, which still today distinguishes the particular Catholic and international dimension of the Institution.

Beyond the various changes, however, there is a constant element that characterizes the Academy: to be at the service of the Church with the aim of promoting, soliciting and supporting in its various forms the intelligence of faith in the God revealed in Christ; Faithful to the teaching of the Church and open to the demands and challenges of culture, it is a place of confrontation and dialogue for the communication of the Gospel in ever new contexts, letting itself be urged by the urgencies that come from suffering humanity to offer the contribution of a Believing, incarnated and supportive thinking: the Creation Forum that you are currently holding is also pushing you in this direction.

Then there is another aspect that since its origin has characterized your Academy: it is a link with the other Roman university and educational institutions, starting from the ancient "La Sapienza" University, to continue with the Schools of the Roman Seminary. , until what will later become the Pontifical University of Rome.

The continuous contacts, in a relationship of mutual cultural exchange, with these institutions and with many religious congregations to which belonged and its members belong, have made sure that the Pontifical Academy of Theology has never considered an isolated entity and autonomous, but has played its role inserted in a web of relationships from which all the interlocutors have been enriched. Looking at this past, the Academy is still called today to grasp its identity not in a self-referential perspective, but as a promoter of an encounter between theology, philosophy and human sciences, so that the good seed of the Gospel will bear fruit in the vast field of knowledge . Finally, the necessity of an ever closer collaboration between Roman ecclesiastical university institutions requires the Theological Academy not to be estranged, but to be able to place itself in fruitful dialogue with each of them in order to foster a common, coordinated and shared work.

With these prospects for the future, and assuring you of my prayer and my closeness, I impart to you my Apostolic Blessing. Please do not forget to pray for me.

Saint January 26 : St. Timothy : 1st Bishop of #Ephesus - Patron of #Stomach and Intestinal Disorders

Feast Day:January 26
Died:80, Ephesus
Patron of:intestinal disorders, stomach diseases

A native of Lystra, he was the son of a Jewish woman named Eunice and a Greek Gentile. Converted to the faith by St. Paul, Timothy willingly received circumcision in order to assuage the Jews to whom he and Paul would be preaching, especially as it was known that his father was a Gentile. Paul found Timothy a very valuable assistant and companion, using him on several missions, such as those to the Corinthians (1 Cor 4:17) and the Thessalonians (1 Thes 3:2-3). According to tradition, he was the first bishop of Ephesus, the basis for this being his journey to the city at the command of Paul to act as his representative (1 Tm 1:3). He is mentioned with St. Paul in the salutations of seven epistles in the New Testament and was teh addressee of two of three pastoral letters - 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus. His martyrdom on January 22, 97 by a mob of angry pagans came about through his opposition to the celebration of the feast of Diana; it was recorded in the fourth-century Acta S. Timothei.

(Taken from Our Sunday Visitor's Encyclopedia of Saints)

Prayer for Stomach Disorders to St. Timothy
Dear Saint, well known for your gentleness, you were a most faithful disciple of St. Paul and like him traveled much to bring the Good News to all people. The Letters Paul wrote to you reveal your zeal and inspire us with confidence in you. You too were cast into prison and you too gave your life for Christ. So with confidence we dare to ask: please obtain relief for (Name) if it be God's will. Amen.
Prayer source: Catholic Info

Saint January 26 : St. Titus : 1st Bishop of Crete - Companion of St. Paul :

Feast Day:
January 26
96 at Goryna, Crete
Patron of:
ST. TITUS was born a Gentile, and seems to have been converted by St. Paul, who calls him his son in Christ. His extraordinary virtue and merit gained him the particular esteem and affection of this apostle; for we find him employed as his secretary and interpreter; and he styles him his brother, and co-partner in his labours; commends exceedingly his solicitude and zeal for the salvation of his brethren. 1 and in the tenderest manner expresses the comfort and support he found in him, 2 in so much, that, on a certain occasion, he declared that he found no rest in his spirit, because at Troas he had not met Titus. 3 In the year 51, he accompanied him to the council that was held at Jerusalem, on the subject of the Mosaic rites. Though the apostle had consented to the circumcision of Timothy, in order to render his ministry acceptable among the Jews, he would not allow the same in Titus, apprehensive of giving thereby a sanction to the error of certain false brethren, who contended, that the ceremonial institutes of the Mosaic law were not abolished by the law of grace. Towards the close of the year 56, St. Paul sent Titus from Ephesus to Corinth, with full commission to remedy the several subjects of scandal, as also to allay the dissensions in that church. He was there received with great testimonies of respect and was perfectly satisfied with regard to the penance and submission of the offenders; but could not be prevailed upon to accept from them any present, not even so much as his own maintenance. His love for that church was very considerable, and at their request he interceded with St. Paul for the pardon of the incestuous man. He was sent the same year by the apostle a second time to Corinth, to prepare the alms that church designed for the poor Christians at Jerusalem. All these particulars we learn from St. Paul’s two epistles to the Corinthians.
  St. Paul, after his first imprisonment, returning from Rome into the east, made some stay in the island of Crete, to preach there the faith of Jesus Christ; but the necessities of other churches requiring his presence elsewhere, he ordained his beloved disciple Titus bishop of that island, and left him to finish the work he had successfully begun. “We may form a judgment,” says St. Chrysostom, 4 “from the importance of the charge, how great the esteem of St. Paul was for his disciple.” But finding the loss of such a companion too material, at his return into Europe the year after, the apostle ordered him to meet him at Nicopolis in Epirus, where he intended to pass the winter, and to set out for that place as soon as either Tychichus, or Arthemas, whom he had sent to supply his place during his absence, should arrive in Crete. St. Paul sent these instructions to Titus, in the canonical epistle addressed to him, when on his journey to Nicopolis, in autumn, in the year 64. He ordered him to establish priests, 5 that is, bishops, as St. Jerom, St. Chrysostom, and Theodoret expound it, in all the cities of the island. He sums up the principal qualities necessary for a bishop, and gives him particular advice touching his own conduct to his flock, exhorting him to hold to strictness of discipline, but seasoned with lenity. This epistle contains the rule of episcopal life, and as such, we may regard it as faithfully copied in the life of this disciple. In the year 65, we find him sent by St. Paul to preach in Dalmatia. 6 He again returned to Crete, and settled the faith in that, and the adjacent little island. All that can be affirmed further of him is, that he finished a laborious and holy life by a happy death in Crete, in a very advanced old age, some affirm in the ninety-fourth year of his age. The body of St. Titus was kept with great veneration in the cathedral of Gortyna, the ruins of which city, the ancient metropolis of the island, situated six miles from Mount Ida, are still very remarkable. This city being destroyed by the Saracens in 823, these relics could never since be discovered: only the head of our saint was conveyed safe to Venice, and is venerated in the Ducal basilic of St. Mark. (See Creta Sacra, Auctore Flaminio Cornelio, Senatore Veneto. Venetiis, anno 1755, de S. Tito, T. 1. p. 189. 195.) St. Titus has been looked upon in Crete as the first archbishop of Gortyna, which metropolitical see is fixed at Candia, since this new metropolis was built by the Saracens. The cathedral of the city of Candia, which now gives its name to the whole island, bears his name. The Turks leave this church in the hands of the Christians. The city of Candia was built in the ninth century, seventeen miles from the ancient Gortyn or Gortyna. Under the metropolitan of Candia, there are at present in this island eleven suffragan bishops of the Greek communion.
=   When St. Paul assumed Titus to the ministry, this disciple was already a saint, and the apostle found in him all the conditions which he charged him so severely to require in those whom he should honour with the pastoral charge. It is an illusion of false zeal, and a temptation of the enemy, for young novices to begin to teach before they have learned themselves how to practise. Young birds, which leave their nests before they are able to fly, are sure to perish. Trees which push forth their buds before the season, yield no fruit, the flowers being either nipped by the frost, or destroyed by the sun. So those who give themselves up to the exterior employments of the ministry, before they are thoroughly grounded in the spirit of the gospel, drain their tender interior virtue, and produce only unclean or tainted fruit. All who undertake the pastoral charge, besides a thorough acquaintance with the divine law, and the maxims and spirit of the gospel, and experience, discretion, and a knowledge of the heart of man, or his passions, must have seriously endeavoured to die to themselves by the habitual practice of self-denial, and a rooted humility; and must have been so well exercised in holy contemplation as to retain that habitual disposition of soul amidst exterior employments, and in them to be able still to say, I sleep, and my heart watches; 7 that is, I sleep to all earthly things, and am awake only to my heavenly friend and spouse, being absorbed in the thoughts and desires of the most ardent love.
= Shared from LIves of the Saints by Butler =